• Imricor’s Steve Weden ups increases stake during ‘most exciting time in the company’s history’
  • Eagers Automotive’s top shareholder seizes opportunity amid stock dip 
  • Galan Lithium managing director invests $1m in recent capital raising 

Directors of several companies have been making the most of continued volatility in equity markets in 2024 to top up stakes in their companies, buying shares via on-market trades or participating in capital raisings.

For eagle-eyed investors, this can often be seen as a positive sign because it implies the director is not-so-quietly-confident in the company’s projects when they put some of their own cash into the kitty.

It’s by no means a guarantee the company will do well or is worth investing in but, if a director has some personal wealth tied to the company’s success, it could lead to greater accountability and decision-making that’s in the best interest of shareholders.

But if recent director buy ups are anything to go by it seems directors of ASX resources companies are confident of a turnaround in markets.


‘Most exciting time in the company’s history’

Focused on improving safety and first time success rates in cardiac catheter ablation, Imricor Medical Systems (ASX:IMR) has seen its CEO, co-founder and chairman Steve Weden top up his holding in the company.

Weden ponied up for 100k shares of Imricor Class A Common Stock, representing 100k CHESS Depositary Interests (CDIs) in an off-market trade on May 22, amounting to ~$45k.

US-based Wedan is currently not allowed to purchase CDIs on-market due to the FOR US designation (foreign ownership restriction – US) on IMR’s CDIs, which precludes US citizens from purchasing CDIs.

IMR says the Class A Common Stock was purchased off-market by Wedan from an existing US stockholder.

The company is succeeding in the long desire of clinicians to do cardiac ablations under the superior imaging capabilities of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), rather than X-ray.

Protected by more than 70 patents, its equipment looks and feels the same as what physicians currently use for the procedure but are safe and effective for use inside the strong magnetic fields created by an MRI scanner.

READ: ‘Overnight success story 18 years in the making’ – Imricor to transform cardiac ablation market

The company is due to kick off  in the current quarter its pivotal US trial Vision-MR Ablation of Atrial Flutter, or VISABL-AFL for short, and its pivotal European ventricular tachycardia (VT) trial VISABL-VT.

Weden’s most recent purchase takes his total purchases to  more than 550k shares and no sales since the IPO.

It also comes on the heels of Australian-based non-executive director Peter McGregor who also purchased 100k shares for $48.3k on May 1. McGregor is the only director currently allowed to buy CDIs given he is a non-US resident.

Wedan now holds 5,083,586 of Class A common stock (equivalent to 5,083,586 CHESS Depositary Interests), 1,427,373 shares out of which are held jointly with his wife. He also holds 4,670,325 options with various exercise prices and expiry dates.

“This is the most exciting time in the Company’s history, with several landmark milestones right ahead of us,” Wedan said in an announcement on the buy-up.

“Like many other US domiciled investors, it can be frustrating for me to not be able to purchase CDIs due to the foreign restriction, so I am delighted to have been able to secure a parcel of shares.”


Richlister keeps increasing stakes in Eagers, despite profit slump

Car dealer Eagers Automotive (ASX:APE) has seen rich-lister, director  and the company’s largest shareholder Nicholas Politis buying the dip, continuing to increase his holding as the company’s share price sinks more than 20% in the past month and 30% YTD.

Politis, who is also chairman of NRL club the Sydney Roosters, bought ~$4.75m worth of shares during May directly and indirectly to bring his holding to almost 73m shares.

APE posted a difficult trading update at its AGM in May, including that it expects to achieve an underlying trading performance for the first half of 2024 that is  ~85% of the underlying profit before tax for the first half of 2023.

CEO Keith Thornton told shareholders that cost-of-living and inflationary pressures was starting to impact spending in the automotive industry.

“We remain disciplined in our focus across our operations and optimistic regarding the outlook for the remainder of 2024 despite macro headwinds,” he says.


Galan Lithium placement well supported

Galan Lithium (ASX:GLN) managing director Juan Pablo Vargas de la Vega has shown his strong backing for the lithium exploration and development company during its recent $14m oversubscribed placement.

He purchased 2,173,912 fully paid ordinary shares and 2,173,912 options directly on May 22 for a total value of $1m. The MD’s holding is now more than 20m fully paid ordinary shares directly, six million performance rights and ~2.24m listed options plus 412,030 fully paid ordinary shares indirectly.

Non-executive director Terry Gardiner also purchased 900k fully paid ordinary shares and 900k options directly on May 22 for $414k as part of the company’s placement.

He then purchased 250k shares for $14,800 in an on-market trade directly on May 24 and 27. Gardiner now holds ~5m ordinary shares, 3m performance rights and ~1.2m listed options directly and more than 2.9m ordinary shares indirectly.

GLN says the equity raising will provide working capital headroom and financial flexibility for the ongoing development of Hombre Muerto West lithium project in Argentina.


Trinex Minerals leaders up stake

Clean energy/critical minerals explorer Trinex Minerals (ASX:TX3), formerly known as Todd River Resources, has seen its leaders support a recent placement, announced in February, which raised $1.25m before costs to be used towards exploration at its Gibbons Creek Uranium Project in Canada’s Athabasca Basin.

Managing director William Dix ponied up directly and indirectly for an additional 5m ordinary shares at $0.005 each ($25k). He also got 60m performance rights as part of his remuneration package, considerably upping his stake in TX3, with the change taking place on May 24.

Non-executive director Stuart Crow acquired 10m shares directly and indirectly at $0.005 each ($50k) as part of the placement.


Hot Chili CEO and director increase stake

Hot Chili (ASX:HCH) has seen managing director and CEO Christian Ervin Easterday and independent non-executive director Steven Quinn recently up their stakes in the copper miner with an advanced Chilean coastal range portfolio.

HCH announced in early May it was raising $29.9m through a private placement and share purchase plan to accelerate development of its 798Mt Costa Fuego copper-gold project in Chile.

Easterday purchased 19,259 shares for $19,259 in the placement indirectly and directly with the date of change on May 27. He now holds 614,978 shares directly and indirectly, including performance rights.

Quinn purchased 20k shares on May 24 directly and indirectly for ~$22k in an on-market purchase. According to the ASX announcement he also holds 87k service rights and 20k shares directly and indirectly.


C29 Metals director backs uranium play

C29 Metals (ASX:C29) saw non-executive director Jamie Myers up his stake in the company during May. Myers indirectly purchased 3m shares for $210k before buying another 500k shares in the company for $36k on May 27.

Myers now holds 4.4m fully paid ordinary shares and 750k unquoted options in C29.

C29 is powering the clean energy transition with its recently acquired very high grade Ulytau Uranium project in Kazakhstan. The company also holds copper projects in Australia.



At Stockhead, we tell it like it is. While Imricor, Galan Lithium, Trinex Minerals, Hot Chili & C29 are Stockhead advertisers, they did not sponsor this article.